House Minority Whip Hoyer said Tuesday election reform advocates are more likely to get additional funding in an FY04 omnibus spending bill than in the Iraq supplemental bill.
Hoyer and House Administration Chairman Ney have been pressing appropriators to provide $1.86 billion in funding authorized under the Help America Vote Act.
The act authorized $3.9 billion in federal funds over three years, and Hoyer hopes for a full authorization in FY04 and advance funding for FY05.
"It's not in the supplemental, and I'm not going to push for it [in that bill]. But we must pass it this year," Hoyer said.
House Majority Whip Blunt indicated Tuesday that GOP leaders have not discussed the issue. He said states, which can use federal grants to improve their election systems, might be best served by getting money already in the pipeline.
House Appropriations Chairman Young said Tuesday that election reform funding could be part of an FY04 omnibus, but said he did not want it included in the Iraq supplemental.
The GSA already has disbursed $650 million in FY03 in grants to the states, but Hoyer said another appropriated $800 million cannot be distributed until the Election Assistance Commission is set up. Hoyer said he has included a provision in the FY04
Treasury-Transportation appropriations bill to release the funding.